Introduction to SAS Workshop


SAS skills are more in demand than ever before. SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analyses, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. To handle the increasing reams of data that technology throws out with lightning speed you need a SAS specialist or two. Thanks to our very own SAS specialists in the MSBAPM program, Piyush Rohella and Dilip Naidu, who volunteered to share their knowledge and provide hands-on training in the software to students of MSBAPM.

The ‘Introduction to SAS’ workshop was conducted as two one and half hour sessions each. The workshop was conceptualized to provide hands-on to students on the SAS software and train them on basic commands of the Base SAS programming.  Agenda for session-1 was designed to introduce the following topics to students, namely, introduction to user interface of SAS interface; the import and export functions explaining delimiters, fixed widths, etc; exploratory procedures that include proc and data steps; merge and append procedures. The agenda for Session-2 was designed to cover procedures like proc means, proc tabulate, proc freq; univariate and multivariate analysis; and some statistical tests.

Students showed immense interest in the workshop. There was an overwhelming number of attendees for the first session, more than 70 enthusiastic students. We also had one student from the FRM department attending the workshop. The presenters shared data sets and code files with the students prior to the session. They conducted the workshop by covering syntax and commands to import, create and export data files, manipulate date, and label and format files. Dilip and Piyush conducted the presentation projecting the codes they were writing in SAS and students followed his lead. The session was a great start for everyone new to the software. Session-2 was a following up on session-1, lot of the students that attended session-1 attended the second session of the workshop. In the session-2, Piyush presented on performing data exploration and manipulation techniques using Base SAS. He taught the class syntax for exploring mean, median, quantiles of variables using proc means command, appending and merging procedures data sets and variables, writing SQL codes in SAS, and a few more SAS procedures. Dilip then taugh the class procedures to perform univariate and multivariate analysis, and touched upon the significance of different statistical tests and how they are performed on SAS.

Students thought it to be a great session and very informational. We conducted a survey to get opinions of attendees on how they would rate the workshop, how well it was organized, how much information they gained from the session, clarity and brevity of the presenter and what they would like to learn in a future session of the workshop. The responses we received were greatly positive. However, students responded that the workshop was somewhat short. We agree that workshops like these have to be conducted over a longer period and we will plan for it in the future. We encourage all the students of MSBAPM to actively engage and participate in sessions like these to expand their knowledge about subjects closely related to Big Data and Analytics.